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The truth about sex and the pelvic floor once you're over 40
This entry was posted on 26/01/2016.
Transitioning into middle age can be a surreal experience – you still feel 25 inside, but your body has other ideas! One way in which you might start feeling different all over is when it comes to sex. Once we get past 40 our libidos begin to naturally decline. This is added to by physical issues like menopause and erectile dysfunction. So how do you battle through all these barriers and maintain a healthy and satisfying sex life into your golden years? We’ve got some tips to help you deal with all manner of post-40 problems that might be affecting you and your partner.
Changing hormones and your sex life – how they affect both women and men
If you’re pre- or post-menopause, the changes that are happening to your body are probably resulting in changes to your libido and sexual attitudes. As you go through menopause, your body produces less and less oestrogen and androgen; these have a direct relationship to your feelings about sex. You may find that you desire sex less, that you have trouble achieving orgasm and that you feel less confident about your attractiveness. According to Relate just under 50% of women report having a decrease in their desire, so you’re not alone!
Physical symptoms of the menopause like vaginal dryness and reduced clitoral sensitivity will change how you experience intercourse, making it less satisfying, uncomfortable and even painful. At StressNoMore we’ve carefully assembled a wide range of gels and lubricants that are recommended for menopausal women. By ensuring that you use plenty of lubricant during sex you can make it comfortable again and regain your enjoyment, as it will also help you to have an orgasm more easily.
Many women find that Hormone Replacement Therapy helps with the sexual symptoms of menopause, in particular a variation called tibolone which has been found to improve libido and mood and to reduce vaginal atrophy. However, HRT can also have quite severe side effects and there is still a debate over its safety. This means that some women prefer to treat their individual symptoms with non-hormonal methods. A natural and completely drug-free way to enhance your mood and libido is to make sure that you’re eating well and getting regular exercise. This is because exercising increases your endorphins and testosterone, which control and increase your mood, energy levels and sexual desire.
Testosterone is also key for men during middle age. It starts to drop after 40, leading to lower libido and problems achieving or maintaining erections. Before you head for the Viagra, you may want to try a more natural solution – we’ve stock all of the bestselling penis pumps on the market. The idea of this may make you laugh, but vacuum pumps are actually endorsed by the NHS as a highly effective way to create and maintain erections! 9 out of 10 men are able to have sex after using them, whatever the cause of their erectile dysfunction.
- Thought about therapy? Sex therapy is on the rise – no pun intended, due to its excellent results. Sex therapy can have huge benefits for you and your partner because quite often life can get in the way of romance and sex and your healthy sex life can take a back seat due to life and work commitments. Sex therapy can address any psychological or physical sexual problems which may have been underlying. Repeated studies have shown its effectiveness, you might want to partake in a sex ban until you’re advised by your therapist – absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- You are at a greater risk of infection. Into your 40s, your skin can become weaker and thinner which leaves you a little more susceptible to STIs along with thrush. UTIs and vaginal dryness also become more common. Many women choose to take Optibac Probiotics for Women to help keep a healthy balance and assist in fighting off any future infections.
- Anti-depressants – A number of anti-depressants people take when they are over 40 can have a serious effect on sex drive as well as sexual climax. Discuss them with your doctor as some types have fewer side effects on your sex drive. If you do suffer from depression and need your medication then try and stimulate your mind by looking into a change of scenery with your partner for romance or trying different things.
- Improved communication – When you get older some things actually improve, like communication for example. You become better at expressing your needs with your partner and talking about things which you both enjoy, in and out of the bedroom. You are more content with your body and life than you were in your twenties which means you are more confident in the bedroom.
- Better orgasms – Research has suggested that women in their 40s tend to have better orgasms than those in their twenties, so there’s more than just hope for you! You are more experienced and know what’s best for your body. Younger women tend to rush intercourse whereas those in their 40s are much more experienced, can communicate more and are more open to their senses and experiences.
- Being content – In our 40s we are content with our lives and our partner. We have gone past the stage of thinking ‘Can I spend the rest of my life with this same person?’ etc. which is a common emotion for twenty-somethings. You have made it through your questionable 20s, avoided a 30s crisis so now that you are in your 40s it’s time to have some fun! Lovemaking really can get better with age.
Benefits of having a strong pelvic floor
A strong pelvic floor sure is great for stopping those embarrassing leaks - not only that, a strong pelvic floor can actually help and improve your sex life. Studies have demonstrated up to 70% improvement in symptoms of incontinence across all age groups following appropriately performed pelvic floor exercises. If you have experienced the natural beauty of childbirth you will be familiar with the changes in your vaginal embrace after delivery. As ageing enters the picture, weakened muscles can further affect the enjoyment and performance of you and your partner. Pelvic floor exercises will help to improve the vaginal embrace and restore that missed, youthful inner strength. You will feel more sensation and your partner will also benefit from this. The PeriCoach has been carefully engineered to improve the muscles in your pelvic floor and enables you to monitor progress and complete exercise programmes suited to your level of ability. You can track improvements easily with the app on your phone. The PeriCoach is the future of pelvic floor training.
When you exercise your vaginal muscles with the PeriCoach the increased blood flow creates extra, natural lubrication by causing secretions to seep through the walls of your vagina. This can help prevent any discomfort you may experience during sexual activity.